Erik Anderson of Synthetic Pictures highlights young champions for Amazon Kindle
LOS ANGELES, CA -- Synthetic Pictures' Erik Anderson teamed up with Amazon to showcase young spelling bee champions in a fun, heartwarming, and celebratory new campaign for the Kindle, showcasing the kids as the champions they’ve trained so hard to become. In one spot, the selected finalists name the hardest words they’ve ever had to spell, including Triskaidekaphobia, Antidisestablishmentarianism, culminating with a brain-busting word we can’t even pronounce, much less spell! You have to watch the spot to even believe it. In other spots of the campaign, the kids, ranging in age from 6 to 14, show off some of their unique training methods with their parents — shooting hoops as they spell words, roller-skating with flashcards, bouncing a tennis ball in word rhythm —and discuss what it takes to become a champion.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee, sponsored by Amazon Kindle, is the country's largest spelling bee and operates as a not-for-profit in support of education and literacy for children. The level of work that goes into preparing for such an event is arguably on par with champion athletes. And while it's surely brains over brawn, the studying these kids go through is no joke. What's perhaps more impressive are the ways they balance their lives as champions with being regular kids. Between school, friends, family, and hobbies, their plates are enormously full. Synthetic Pictures and Amazon wanted to help recognize these young champs for their many accomplishments.
Director Erik Anderson thrives in cinematic, docu-style spots like these, able to capture moments of authenticity from people who may be experiencing their first on-camera interview. Working with children can present its own unique set of challenges, but Anderson is a pro, "These kids are so inspiring, driven, and wise beyond their years," says Anderson, "It was important to us and to Amazon that we let the world know how deserving they are of their accomplishment and to serve as inspiration for other kids who wish to become champion spellers themselves."
Synthetic produced 4 x :30 spots, as well as several additional web and social content pieces, and a still photoshoot — each highlighting a new question, and giving the contestants opportunities to open up about their training and their lives growing up as champions. "I think a word that sums me up as a champ is passionate,” says 14-year-old Peyton Wiewel of Parkville, MO, confidence shining through her eyes. Wiewel adds of the competition, "It's that internal drive that keeps them going and it's their passion for what they're doing.” Thirteen-year-old Maria Fields of Gross Pointe Park, Michigan says, “What makes a champion is that they believe in themselves and they believe they can do it before they do it.”
The bee is airing nationally May 25th and 26th on ESPN.
Founded in 2002, Synthetic Pictures (www.syntheticpictures.com) has offices in Los Angeles, Austin, and New York. The company boasts a diverse roster of live action directors and an accomplished visual effects division, SP/FX. They’ve worked with agencies such as BBDO, Leo Burnett, Team Detroit, GSD&M, Doner, Pitch, Publicis, JWT, Integer, 22squared, Wunderman, TM, Mithun, 360i, Phenomenon, Proof, Wilson, Luckie & Co, Agency RX, CDMi, Ramey, Tombras, LGA, Loomis, BVK, Rapp and R&R Partners on projects for clients such as Starbucks, Chrysler, Dodge, Dell, Intel, BMW, Ford, Vegas Tourism, Jennie-O, Shell, MasterCard, P&G, Special K, Dairy Queen, Burger King, Reebok, Walmart, DreamWorks, Nationwide, Canon, SunTrust Bank, Invisalign, Citgo, Honda, and the American Red Cross.
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